Christmas officially began for three of Vinton’s youngest aspiring photographers on Monday, when three granddaughters buckled into Grandpa’s SUV and headed toward the Sanders, Kersten and Blue Creek Christmas light displays.
And, of course, McDonald’s.
Since we departed at just before 5, it was McDonald’s first, and to save time and make the ride seem shorter, we went to the drive-thru before heading south to the Sanders farm, where Dwight and Bonnie were known for decades as the Pumpkin farmers. While they retired from that a couple of years ago, they continue to fill their yard and its trees with decorations and lights.
I can give you directions: Go south from Vinton on Highway 218, and then turn left on 63rd Street. But you don’t need them. Once you get to the Garrison black top, you can clearly see the lights.
After a few photos, which must have taken forever in little girl minutes (I learned when I got back in the car that I had “lied;” I didn’t come “right back.”) we headed back, going north on Highway 218 for the 101 Dalmatians and the rest of the decorations at the Kersten farm, where Heidi continues what her father, Larry, started more than 50 years ago.
I first heard of Blue Creek Christmas in December of 2014, while driving home from Cedar Rapids and a public service notice came over the radio. So, I took a detour, and immediately realized I had found a place to share with the granddaughters — and you.